God is good.
That’s a favorite debate topic for Christian films. I guess it’s also a favorite DC topic since Lex Luthor makes that infamous statement “If God is all powerful, He cannot be all good.”
Because it’s been talked aobut so much, I’m not sure I have any new wisdom to add to the subject, but I’d like to discuss it for a minute.
I just reread “The Hiding Place,” which is a really good book, and I felt like toward the end the quesiton of God’s goodness comes up.
What ‘s funny about The ways of God is that just His power is not enough to convince us He’s right.
We’ve all apologized when we weren’t sorry or admited something we didn’t want to admit becuae we were afraid of someone in power over us. For very weak minded people, power seems to equal right, even though philosophically we would scorn hat idea.
But I notice that in the Bible, way back in the Old Testament, people often only obeyed God because of His power.
Actually, up until recently in our history, that was totally acceptable logic. We like to feel we have the moral high ground, but many of our ancestors would have thought it was just common sense to obey whatever god was most powerful. It’s led to some messed up religions.
To bring it back to the point, everything that happens to the Ten Booms in the latter half of the book seems to be terrible. Corrie and Betsie escpecially suffer in three different prisons, one of them the hellish Ravensbruck.
Corrie speaks of wondering why such cruelty could happen, of having to trust God to carry the burden of what she saw and felt watching the atrocities that happened there.
Though we cannot all have witnessed such things firsthand, we have plenty of news examples nowadays to make us ask that same question. Why did God allow it? Is he really good.
In the movie version of the Hiding Place, one embittered prisoner mockingly tells Betsie and Corrie that God is either powerless, or He is cruel, they can’t have it both ways.
Betsie replies “When you know him, you don’t need to know why.”
This is the kind of thinking that makes skeptics believe religious people are crazy. AT least, I think if I were a skeptic I would think it was crazy.
Would you trust God if you were going through death warmed up? If you lost everything? Would you believe God was good if you were mistreated be everyone around you and all you saw was cruelty?
Perhaps, after a time, all of us would begin to falter, if we were left to ourselves/
But God didn’t leave Corrie and Betsie without some signs. The little miracles that happened. Corrie not being checked in line while she has hiding the Bible, the vitamins bottle that did not run dry, the mercy of an otherwise merciless guard or medical trustee, Betsie’s visions.
What I draw from the story is that if God truly meant for us to be miserable, He would no provide these little wonders, these signs of love.
You can’t make those fit in with the idea of a distant, cold God, unless you really stretch your imagination.
Terrible things happen to us that God does not stop, but if we know personally that HE is good to us, then logically, we know these things do not mean He is doing us an evil.
John Eldredge (author and speaker) says that we have doubs about God’s goodness, we might know how He acts in front of a lot of people, signs, wonders, etc. but what is He like when you get alone with Him?
Well, here my theology meets reality. As someone who claims to have a relationship with God, what is my experience of Him?
(Actually, it surprises me how little I talk about this. I’m not ashamed of it, but even at church the subject comes up way less than you would expect.)
In many ways, knowing God personally is a private thing, more so than even knowing your spouse; but it is also meant to be shared.
My knowledge of God is that He is caring, He is loving, He does meet the needs of His children.
Personally, I have had harsh things said to me by people, people have betrayed my trust, people have misjudged me, God has never done that.
Some might say that’s because He is not real, or He is not like I think He is, so how could He do any of those things?
But for my money, none of that matters, I know what I know.
The evil man kind does to itself is bad enough, that there should be any light at all in the sea of darkness is a flat out miracle.
Like how the studios that produced Batman vs Superman also produced Wonder Woman.
Or how the same company that gave us some of the stupidest shows on TV also gave us movies like Frozen, Cinderella, Big Hero 6, and other classics.
Jesus said that the condemnation of men is that lights has come into the world, but men loved darkness.
And to my amazement, and yet also not for I have been guilty of it too, the real reason people doubt God is good is because they themselves are not good and do not want to change.
Bitterness, hate, selfishness; we don’t like giving that up.
Anyway, I hope that made sense.
Until next time–Natasha.